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Walmart asks court to dismiss FTC money transfer lawsuit

Walmart asks court to dismiss FTC money transfer lawsuit

Walmart has asked a federal court to dismiss a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit against the retail giant, calling it an "egregious instance of agency overreach".

In June, the FTC sued Walmart, alleging that the firm "turned a blind eye" while fraudsters used its money transfer service to fleece consumers of hundreds of millions of dollars.

In its suit, the FTC says that for years Walmart's stated policy was for its employees to issue payouts even in the case of a suspicious money transfer.

In a statement, Walmart responds: "The FTC is trying to hold Walmart liable for the criminal actions of completely unrelated third-party fraudsters, in spite of Walmart’s extensive efforts to prevent those very fraudsters from defrauding our customers, and despite the FTC’s lack of constitutional or statutory authority to bring the lawsuit."

Citing industry databases, the FTC suit says that from 2013 to 2018 more than $197 million in payments that were the subject of fraud complaints were sent or received at Walmart. Another $1.3 billion in related payments were also possibly connected to the fraud.

Scammers relied on Walmart money transfers as a primary way to receive payments for scams like telemarketing schemes, relative-in-need “grandparent” scams, and sweepstakes scams, says the suit.

The FTC is asking the court to order Walmart to return money to consumers and to impose civil penalties.

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